K: Hello Mrs. Meyers! Thank you so much for stopping by! How are you?
M: I’m fantastic, thank you! Very happy to be interviewed on Pages today. J
Trying to balance the world-building with the story. I wanted to create a futuristic world with technology that was both impressive and realistic, but I didn’t want the reader to feel like they were drowning in techy terminology and explanations of how things work. I found myself frequently over-writing and using all these interesting tidbits I’d found during research, and then having to go through and cut it all out because it didn’t matter to the story. In the end, I wanted New Beijing to seem real and tactile, but to still be in the background to what was happening with my characters.
2. If you could hang out with one of the characters from Cinder, who would it be? What would the character say to you?
Iko – Cinder’s android sidekick. She says the wackiest things, without always knowing that they’re wacky, and she has fabulous taste in clothes and accessories. I’d love to take her shopping, because I don’t think she would hold back any opinions. She’d probably tell me that I need to expand my shoe collection.
3. Were Cinder to be made into a movie, who would you pick as your cast?
I’m afraid this is a terrible question to ask me, as I honestly don’t know! I’m pretty out of the pop culture loop. The only one I can think of is Ian McKellen for Dr. Erland, except they’d probably have to do some fancy camera work to make him seem really short.
K: I totally understand this. I cannot think of actors to play my stories because I don't know the right actors! Sorry for the odd question!
4. Are the names of characters important? There are many unique ones you've included, like Peony, Adri, and Kai.
Definitely, I spend a lot of time thinking about names. I even once broke out into hives because I’d spent an ENTIRE DAY stressing over the perfect name for one of the main characters you meet later in the series. That’s so overkill, but it’s true. The Eastern Commonwealth has kind of an east-meets-west feel to it (with an emphasis on Asian traditions), and I wanted that to be reflected in the names. I also wanted to make sure that the names were approachable for western readers. I ended up mixing and matching names and sounds from many different Asian cultures. Peonies (a flower popular on kimonos) and pearls both make me think of Japan, hence the names for Cinder’s stepsisters. Adri is an Indian name, and there are also names like Li (Chinese), Fateen (Arabic), or Chang Sacha (Chang is Chinese, while Sacha is Greek). Kai was one of the few names that popped into my head and has been the same since I started brainstorming the series. It’s actually a Hawaiian name, but it seemed to fit.
5. There are several different covers for Cinder, but of them all: which is your favourite?
Oh gosh, what a difficult question!! I truly love them all and feel so lucky to have such wonderful covers. If I HAD to choose, I would probably say the Spanish edition with the doll and the gorgeous dress. I want to wear that dress, and I love how they made one of her legs more human than the other. (Also, the back cover has the missing shoe sitting on a pillow, which I think is quite clever.)
6. Authors have to face bad reviews: how have you taken them?
I actually made the decision very early on to not read reviews, so the worst criticism that’s crossed my path is the complaint that the book has some very predictable elements. For a fairy-tale retelling, I think that’s not too bad! Generally speaking, though, I understand that not every book will be for every reader, and while it’s hurtful to think there are readers who won’t like these stories we slave over, we have to move past that and be grateful for the readers who do like it. Dwelling on bad reviews serves no useful purpose, and will only drive a person crazy.
Random Quick Questions!
1. Coffee or tea?
Coffee! I wish I could like tea—it seems so quaint and civilized—but I pretty much think it’s disgusting.
2. Favourite flavour of ice cream?
Chocolate chip cookie dough.
3. Do you brush your teeth before or after breakfast?
4. Do you laugh at your own jokes?
Ahahahahaha. All the time. Otherwise, what’s the point of making them?
5. Favourite foreign sweets?
6. Look to your left. What’s the first thing you see?
One of my framed NaNoWriMo posters.